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Stellantis Global Chief Marketing Officer Olivier François Named as One of Newest Inductees Into AAF Advertising Hall of Fame

  • François is one of six industry icons to receive advertising’s most esteemed honor
  • In its 70-plus years, only 282 advertising legends and 12 global companies have been elected to the Hall of Fame
  • Highly acclaimed campaigns under Francois’ leadership include the Primetime Emmy Award-winning “Imported from Detroit” featuring Eminem, “Farmer” with radio’s legendary Paul Harvey, Primetime Emmy Award-nominated “Halftime in America” with Clint Eastwood, Primetime Emmy Award-nominated “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray and “The Middle” featuring Bruce Springsteen
  • Award comes as François prepares to relaunch the all-new, all-electric Fiat 500 in North America
  • The 2024 honorees will be feted at a gala ceremony to be held on April 25, 2024, at Cipriani Wall Street
November 29, 2023,  Auburn Hills, Mich. - The American Advertising Federation (AAF), the “unifying voice for advertising,” announced today the inductees into the 2024 AAF Advertising Hall of Fame (AHOF). Olivier François, global chief marketing officer for Stellantis, is one of six industry luminaries joining this prestigious group. The announcement will be celebrated during the closing bell ceremony on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today.

This year’s honorees were chosen following a rigorous review overseen by a council of judges comprised of an esteemed group of industry leaders and fellow members of the Hall of Fame. In addition to François, the inductees include (in alphabetical order) Jerri DeVard, CEO and founder, Black Executive CMO Alliance (BECA); Jeff Goodby, co-chairman, Goodby Silverstein & Partners; Bill Imada, co-founder, chairman & chief connectivity officer, IW Group; Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, P&G; and Donna Weinheim, former partner, executive creative director, BBDO; Cliff Freeman & Partners.

François has always sought to go beyond the status quo, with a remarkable talent for pairing the commercial with a genuine sensibility for socially responsible causes and environmental ethics. He has somehow reached remarkable sales figures and global brand recognition by enlisting distinguished world leaders, cultural icons from across the film, television and music industries, and world-renowned environmentalists. As François has said, “the greatest brand value I can deliver is to show that our brands have values.”  

“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude receiving this recognition,” said François. “It simply would not have possible without a house of now 14 iconic American, French, German and Italian brands that together compose a symphony. A CMO can play one brand beautifully, but with the accompaniment of many distinguished brands, along with the great number of extraordinarily talented, relentless, and fearless people on our Stellantis teams and the incredible agency rosters across the world, who together have lifted our brands to the highest heights of success, we can have a bit of fun." 
 
Added François, “While these achievements often come at the end of one’s career, in my case, I like to think that after 15 years at the helm of our group's marketing team, I’m just getting started.”
 
François found a way to place the Dalai Lama in a Lancia by simply practicing what he preaches; to fight for human rights in Tibet using Richard Gere during the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics; to get Nobel Laureates’ Mikhael Gorbachev, Lech Walesa and Nelson Mandela to appear in a spot to support free elections in Myanmar; to create with Sean Penn, virtually overnight, the campaign to support the Haitian Relief Organization and deploy Jeep® vehicles to help distribute food and water; and to stand up for Detroit in the midst of the Great Recession with bold music from Eminem and a brave message, “Imported from Detroit,” in the first-ever two-minute Super Bowl spot, which helped to lift an industry, a city and a nation.
 
His proposal to use Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot” in a Jeep campaign was instrumental in launching the first electrified Jeep vehicle – the Jeep Wrangler 4xe. François used the fact that the Super Bowl fell on Groundhog Day for only the second time in the Big Game's 54-year history to engage the elusive Bill Murray to reprise his famous role as Phil Connors from the original 1993 film and to create a spot that not only topped the Super Bowl charts, but took top honors at the post-pandemic Cannes Festival. But he didn’t stop there.
 
François teamed with Bono’s RED organization to use FIAT, the brand that he has been running as CEO since 2011, to commit millions to fight AIDS and COVID-19. Then, he was able to convince Bruce Springsteen to appear in the Super Bowl campaign for “The Middle,” the first time that Springsteen had ever agreed to appear in a television commercial for any brand, in “a call to all Americans to come together and seek common ground as we look collectively to the road ahead.”
 
In his boldest move yet, François, who also holds the dual roles of CEO of FIAT Automobile and DS Automobiles, is using his role as FIAT CEO to make the all-new Fiat 500 all electric (and only electric). For François, passion for an ethical approach runs deeper than marketing, it actually affects vehicle production. During a lunch with Leonardo DiCaprio, he convinced the elusive environmentalist to stand alongside him in Europe as he strives to convert the most popular mass-market city car to all electric to shape the future of urban mobility worldwide.
 
Beyond marketing, François has extensive work experience in business operations and sales through his leadership roles over the last three decades. He assumed leadership roles at Citroën before joining FIAT in 2005. He was the lead executive for Lancia S.p.A. and then Chrysler brand (2009) after the Chrysler Group and FIAT merger, and CEO of FIAT Automobiles since 2011. Concurrently, François has held the CMO role since 2008, retaining this position over two decades and three mergers. Although the company has evolved and reformed three times – from Chrysler Group to FCA to now Stellantis (in 2021), a group of 14 brands – François' role as CMO has been a constant.
 
François was recently named to Forbes CMO Hall of Fame (2022), after appearing on Forbes World’s Most Influential CMO list multiple times since 2014. He has twice been named the Grand Brand Genius by Adweek; named Branding Power Player by Billboard Magazine (2016), and Advertising Age named Chrysler Group under François’ leadership as the Marketer of the Year (2012). 
 
Ram brand’s critically acclaimed “Farmer” (2013), featuring the voice of legendary radio announcer Paul Harvey, and Dodge brand’s “Wisdom” (2016), recognizing the 100th anniversary of the brand and starring centenarians dispensing their own life wisdom, were named the Nielsen Automotive Ad of the Year.
 
François and his team garnered a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial for the “Imported from Detroit” Super Bowl campaign in 2012 and was nominated again in the Outstanding Commercial category in both 2012 for "Halftime in America" and 2020 for the “Groundhog Day” Super Bowl commercial starring Bill Murray. 
 
François holds a degree in economy, finance and marketing from Dauphine University (Paris) and a diploma from the IEP (Institute des Sciences Politiques, Paris).

In its 70-plus years, only 282 advertising legends and 12 global companies have been elected to the Hall of Fame. The 2024 honorees will be feted at a gala ceremony to be held on April 25, 2024, at Cipriani Wall Street.

“The AAF Advertising Hall of Fame brings together the nation’s top leaders in American advertising, marketing, media and tech and is another example of how AAF serves as the ‘unifying voice for advertising,’” commented Steve Pacheco, president and CEO, American Advertising Federation.

For further details about the AHOF Induction Gala, including sponsorship opportunities, visit aaf.org/ahof.

The Advertising Hall of Fame
The Advertising Hall of Fame, organized by the AAF since 1949, helps the organization to sustain many of its key initiatives throughout the year surrounding education, diversity, grassroots advocacy, and professional development. Induction into the Advertising Hall of Fame celebrates the most accomplished and legendary figures in advertising. From their significant contributions to the advertising industry to their personal philanthropic involvement, honorees have set the precedent by which great leaders and accomplishments are measured today.

AAF
The AAF's Board of Directors guides and oversees the Federation's signature events and initiatives, including the Advertising Hall of Fame, Advertising Hall of Achievement, American Advertising Awards, Advertising Day on the Hill, Most Promising Multicultural Students Program, and HBCUs for Advertising – all serving the Federation's 35,000+ professional members nationwide, 4,000+ students and educators, and more than 60+ corporate members spanning media and tech companies, advertisers and agencies. Established in 1905, the American Advertising Federation (AAF), acts as the "Unifying Voice for Advertising." Visit https://aaf.org/
 
Stellantis North America
Stellantis (NYSE: STLA) is one of the world’s leading automakers, aiming to provide clean, safe and affordable freedom of mobility for all. In North America, it's best known for producing and selling vehicles in a portfolio of iconic, innovative and award-winning brands, including Jeep®, Chrysler, Dodge//SRT, Ram, Alfa Romeo and Fiat. Stellantis is executing its Dare Forward 2030, a bold strategic plan that paves the way to achieve the ambitious target of becoming a carbon net zero mobility tech company by 2038, while creating added value for all stakeholders. 

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